The government plans to provide incentives to mineral block allocatees for early commencement of production from the auctioned mines, a move aimed at increasing mineral output of the country and reducing imports.
The mines ministry plans to do the same through amendment of the mining rules and has sought comments and suggestions from stakeholders on the same. The Ministry of Mines has prepared the Mineral (Auction) Amendment Rules, 2021 seeking to amend Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015.
“As part of the pre-legislative consultation policy, the draft Amendment Rules is made available… Comments / suggestions are invited from the general public, governments of states and union territories, mining industry, stakeholders, industry associations, and other persons and entities concerned, on the draft Amendment Rules,” the mines ministry said in a notice.
A high level committee (HLC) headed by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, on mines, minerals and coal sectors was constituted by the government to give recommendations for enhancing exploration and domestic production, reducing imports and achieving rapid growth in exports.
The panel in its report on the coal sector has recommended that the Ministry of Mines may also adopt the methodology for commercial auction as per the recommendation of the coal sector. One of the recommendations in the panel report is for providing incentive to successful bidders for early commencement of production from the auctioned mines.
“In view of the HLC recommendations, it has been decided to provide in the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 that for fully explored blocks, there would be a 50 per cent rebate in the quoted revenue share, for the quantity of mineral produced and dispatched earlier than scheduled date of production as provided in tender document,” the ministry said.
The incentive will encourage the lessee to operationalise the mine and start production at an early date thereby increasing the mineral production in the country. The objective of the amendment is to make minerals available in the market at the earliest considering that minerals are input to several industries. “Accordingly, a draft amendment to Rule 13 of the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 is proposed,” the ministry said.